Leaderless farmers in MP drive stir through social media

Ironically, Chouhan's fast is to restore peace in the state which was disturbed after his own police killed five persons in a farmers agitation in Mandsaur while Kejriwal was protesting against corrupt inspectors in Delhi police which comes under the central government.

"The Chief Minister has chose to sit on fast for peace in the state from today 11:00 a.m".

The opposition Congress has, however, dubbed Chouhan's fast as "drama".

Farmers from all over Madhya Pradesh have been meeting Chouhan at the Dussehra Maidan since Saturday.

The chief minister chose to go on an indefinite fast for peace in the wake of the farmers agitation over better prices and farm loan waiver. "I know of the bumper crop production that has sent the prices crashing down in the state".

"We had appealed to farmers to reach out to the masses using such platforms", said Kedar Sirohi, leader of the Aam Kisan Union, a farmer organisation.

While Chouhan, who has invited the protesters for dialogue, met various people through the day, a farmers delegation was dismayed when he turned down their demand of a loan waiver and began a protest opposite him.

Mandsaur, the epicentre of farmers' protest, had been on the boil since last week.

Chouhan had launched his indefinite fast for "peace restoration" yesterday amid violent farmer protests in western MP, especially in Dewas and Mandsaur districts over the last ten days. The incident caused outrage across the state with farmers as well as political parties demanding an immediate solution to the farmers' woes.

Questioning the ability of Shivraj Singh Chouhan government to rule Madhya Pradesh, the Congress on Saturday demanded its dismissal and imposition of President's Rule in the state.

Curfew has been lifted from Mandsaur town in Madhya Pradesh as it remained peaceful though prohibitory orders will continue in the city.

"This fast is nothing but a pretence.The Congress is with farmers in their fight for their rights", Surjewala said. Though no loan waivers were granted, Chouhan said funds would be lent at zero per cent interest to help farmers repay their debts. He said Chouhan should tell what he was atoning for by undertaking the fast.

"A handful of people are trying to set the State afire" said Chouhan, urging the farmers to recognise such elements and be alert in future.

Farmers began protests over low prices for their crops on June 1. Five farmers died on the spot, and one - who was allegedly detained by the police - died later in the hospital.

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